Coming into the 2019-2020 season the Habs looked like a team looking to win the 2020 draft lotto. Over the course of the season though it became clear the Habs weren’t bad enough to get a high lotto pick. With this in mind the Habs made some big deals to get names like Forsberg and Ekholm added to their roster. These moves were made more so for future seasons rather than this season however. Habs management knew they weren’t going to realistically be a contender this year.
At the end of the year the Habs managed to lock up the 8th seed in the east and set themselves up for a date with the Hurricanes. The Habs and Hurricanes have some history in the playoffs, having met 3 times in the past 4 seasons. Whenever both of these teams make the playoffs it just seems like they somehow meet up to play against each other. The Habs beat the Canes in their first meeting in a 5 game series where they upset them. The Canes had just won the presidents trophy and the Habs GM at the time was just a rookie. They proceeded to meet up again in the 2018 playoffs were the Canes almost came back and 3-1 series deficit, losing to Montreal in game 7 by a score of 4-2. This year however was supposed to be an easy win for the Canes. They had just come off a record breaking season and the Habs were a team that only made a big push in the last 20 games after acquiring 1st line calibre talent. Habs management were fully expecting a quick series that would’ve left the fan-base wanting more. However the Habs have shocked the league and forced a game 7 back in Carolina after beating the Canes 5-3.
Whatever happens Tuesday night in Carolina the Habs won’t be disappointed. They would obviously love to advance but the fact that their young core that is only going to get better has pushed a record setting team to a game 7 is nothing short of great. With their first trip back to the playoffs since winning the cup the team has proved that they know how to win when it matters. Coach John Tortorella has helped this group play it’s best hockey at the most crucial point in the season. It all comes down to one last game 7. Will Tkachuk and Forsberg be able to continue leading this group? Or will the Canes overwhelming depth and star power finally beat these pesky Habs? Good luck to Dustin and his Canes!